Faith

This sports drama is focused on two Olympic runners. Harold Abraham’s competitor at the 1924 Paris Olympics is the Scottish sprinter and rugby player Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson). Accomplished sprinter he may be, but Abrahams (Ben Cross) has a chip on his shoulder. He has the unattractive trait of smoldering anger, but he expresses his frustration in measure, and to his fiancée, opera singer Sybil Gordon (Alice Krige). His anger stems from how people have treated Jews like himself and his father. In his frustration, Abraham is out to show the world that Jews are the winners and not the losers. On the other hand, the problem for Eric Liddell is that he must run his heat on the Sabbath day, which is forbidden by his faith. However, Liddell says that God made him with the ability to run fast and to not run would be to hold God in contempt. I was impressed by the raising of the film’s central problem, which takes a matter of faith to heart, and one which has challenged many Christian hearts—can a Christian work on the Sabbath? Keeping the Sabbath was a requirement for Old Testament Jews, but is it a requirement for New Testament Christians? Yet, both testaments are in the Christian Bible. I was impressed by how the matter was resolved which shows a Christian running the race of faith.

Loss and gain

A moving redemptive moment, the film The Black Stallion (1979), about a boy who survives a shipwreck with the help of Black (the stallion). Then, under the training of Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) the boy and the horse enter a prestigious horse race. We can see how the boy was given redemption on a very practical level, in The Black Stallion, yet there is also another level of redemption, that of the soul and broken human nature.

Sporty hero


An uplifting heroic moment, the film Flash Gordon (1980). Football quarterback Flash Gordon (pictured left) must overcome the evil mechanizations of the bored Ming the Merciless (Max Von Sydow, right) who manipulates earth’s weather to bring about the annihilation of the blue and green planet. Flash gets help from the Wingmen to save the planet–“WE ONLY HAVE TWENTY FOUR HOURS TO SAVE THE EARTH!” Flash Gordon is stimulus for thought–Theological speculation: Does God intend to save the planet? If so, how?

Missing

There’s this little song by Bruce Springsteen that has a big theme. “Ain’t Got You” is from his Tunnel of Love album that was released in 1987. The album came after the blockbuster album of his, Born in the USA. Tunnel of Love had significantly less fanfare, but coming after Born in the USA, I thought I better have a listen, back in the day. The opening track “Ain’t Got You” is about having almost everything the world could give someone, riches, fame, adulation, success, but still feeling like you’re missing something. I suppose that is a common theme in song and literature, but it can be true to life itself, as there may be times when one feel something’s missing in my life…I ain’t got you. It may not be a girl or whoever, it may be anything, something, or something one feels one needs but cannot define what that may be.